Although several property/casualty insurers spent time this week congratulating themselves on remaining strong in a down economy, Wachovia said on Thursday that these insurers may well report lower investment income in the fourth quarter. Further, notes Wachovia, the industry will be hurt by additional catastrophe losses from worse-than-expected hurricane activity earlier in 2008.

As reported by Reuters, according to an estimate from Munich Re on Thursday, total insured catastrophe losses in 2008 rose to about $45 billion—about double 2007 levels, and the third-costliest year on record.

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